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World Record Holder Jepkosgei Returns to Gifu Seiryu Half



Women's world record holder and defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) and last year's top man Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) return to lead the elite fields for the April 22 Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon. The women's field is small but high-quality at the front end, with Eunice Chumba (Bahrain) and Valary Jemeli (Kenya) joining Jepkosgei under the 68-minute mark and additional support coming from sub-70 runners Joy Kemuma (Kenya) and Karolina Nadolska (Poland). The top Japanese woman in last summer's London World Championships marathon, Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) again leads the way as the fastest Japanese woman at 1:10:31.

Most of Gifu's budget clearly went to the women's race, as the men's field is made up almost entirely of Japan-based athletes. Not that it's short of quality. With a 1:00:31 mark Mutiso is only the 5th-fastest athlete in a field led by sub-60 men James Mwangi (Kenya/NTN), James Rungaru (Kenya/Chuo Hatsujo) and Moses Kurong (Uganda). Yohei Suzuki (Aisan Kogyo) leads the Japanese entry list with a 1:01:53 best in Marugame this year, with Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) set to make his annual appearance in Gifu just 6 days after running the Boston Marathon.

8th Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon Elite Field Highlights

Gifu, 4/22/18
times listed are best in last three years except where noted
click here for complete field listing

Women
Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) - 1:04:51 (Valencia 2017)
Eunice Chumba (Bahrain) - 1:06:11 (Copenhagen 2017)
Valary Jemeli (Kenya) - 1:07:50 (Prague 2017)
Joy Kemuma (Kenya) - 1:09:02 (Venlo 2018)
Karolina Nadolska (Poland) - 1:09:54 (Posnan 2017)
Ftaw Zeray (Ethiopia) - 1:10:31 (Marugame 2018)
Mao Kiyota (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:10:31 (Valencia 2015)
Sayo Nomura (Japan/Uniqlo) - 1:11:22 (Sanyo 2015)
Sinead Diver (Australia) - 1:11:40 (Valencia 2018)
Yuko Aoki (Japan/Canon AC Kyushu) - 1:12:14 (Sanyo 2017)
Yuko Watanabe (Japan/Edion) - 1:13:08 (Sanyo 2015)
Yuko Mizuguchi (Japan/Denso) - 1:13:13 (Sendai 2017)
Marie Imada (Japan/Iwatani Sangyo) - 1:13:54 (Marugame 2018)
Andrea Seccafien (Canada) - debut - 33:34.45 (10000 m, Melbourne 2017)
Sayaka Takarada (Japan/Aichi Denki) - 15:54.62 (5000 m, Nagasaki 2015)

Men
James Mwangi (Kenya/NTN) - 59:07 (Copenhagen 2016)
James Rungaru (Kenya/Chuo Hatsujo) - 59:37 (Den Haag 2018)
Moses Kurong (Uganda) - 59:50 (Copenhagen 2017)
Nicholas Kosimbei (Kenya/Toyota) - 1:00:21 (Lisbon 2018)
Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 1:00:31 (Lisbon 2018)
Edward Waweru (Kenya/NTN) - 1:00:31 (Marugame 2018)
Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Aichi Seiko) - 1:00:57 (Gifu Seiryu 2017)
Joel Mwaura (Kenya/Kurosaki Harima) - 1:00:59 (Marugame 2017)
Patrick Muendo Mwaka (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 1:01:51 (Gifu Seiryu 2016)
Yohei Suzuki (Japan/Aisan Kogyo) - 1:01:53 (Marugame 2018)
Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Kanebo) - 1:02:05 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2017)
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 1:02:08 (Marugame 2016)
Michael Githae (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:02:27 (Gifu Seiryu 2015)
Takuya Fukatsu (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 1:02:29 (Osaka 2018)
Shun Sakuraoka (Japan/NTN) - 1:02:44 (Ageo 2016)
Desmond Mokgobu (South Africa) - 1:02:48 (Port Elizabeth 2015)
Suehiro Ishikawa (Japan/Honda) - 1:02:49 (Marugame 2016)
Shintaro Miwa (Japan/NTN) - 1:02:59 (Marugame 2018)
Hayato Sonoda (Japan/Kurosaki Harima) - 1:03:00 (Marugame 2016)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:03:11 (Ageo 2015)
Yuichi Okutani (Japan/Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:03:21 (Osaka 2017)
Yuya Ito (Japan/Toyota) - 1:03:22 (Hakodate 2015)
Yasuyuki Nakamura (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:03:32 (Ageo 2017)
Dishon Karukuwa Maina (Kenya) - 1:03:35 (Gifu Seiryu 2016)
Kenta Matsumoto (Japan/Toyota) - 1:03:38 (Gifu Seiryu 2015)
Yuichiro Ogawa (Japan/NTN) - 1:03:44 (Marugame 2016)
Taiga Ito (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:03:52 (Gifu Seiryu 2015)
Shota Hattori (Japan/Honda) - 1:05:13 (Sendai 2016)
Ezekiel Jafary (Tanzania) - 1:06:19 (Moshi 2015)

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Lexicon

Betsudai - the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
daigaku - university
ekiden - a long-distance relay race
faito - a courseside audience cheer; see ganbatte
ganbatte (ganbare) - a courseside audience cheer; see faito
gasshuku - an intensive training camp
Hakone Ekiden - the annual university men`s championships
jitsugyodan - corporate-sponsored professional running teams
onsen - a hot spring
Q-chan - Naoko Takahashi, the 2000 Sydney Olympics women`s marathon gold medalist, Olympic record holder and first woman to break 2:20 in the marathon
rikujo - track and field, the marathon, and other running events
Rikuren - the JAAF
tasuki - the sash which is handed off during an ekiden
zannen - too bad
otaku - a nerdy, socially awkward person, usually male, who is obsessed with some esoteric topic

Calendar of Major Races

Race Entries

Races in Japan usually close entry at least a month beforehand, often much longer. They generally do not have race day entry and race organizers are not willing to make special exceptions for foreigners. If you are coming to Japan for, say, a business trip in two weeks, it is not possible to enter a race. If you are making longer-range plans then it may be possible to find a suitable event using the following services:

Samurai Running Japan is a long-standing entry service that focuses on smaller races to help overseas visitors "experience the 'real' Japan."  Along with entry it assists with accommodations and transportation.

Launched in September, 2015, Runnet Japan is an English-language branch of Runnet, Japan's dominant online entry service, catering to the international community.  The number of races offered on Runnet Japan is still limited but constantly expanding.

Other entry services like Sports Entry, TecNet and the new Sportsnavi Do still offer only Ja…